PREMIUM TIMES Centre to train Nigerian undergraduates in data, digital journalism

A programme to build a nascent generation of data and digital journalists in Nigerian tertiary institutions is to be organised in Lagos by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism [PTCIJ] with the support of Ford Foundation.

PTCIJ’s Programme Officer, Deji Adekunle, said in Abuja on Tuesday that ahead of the programme, a preparatory meeting would hold in Lagos to design strategies and the architecture of the one-year programme that will cover campuses across the nation’s six-geographical regions.

Mr. Adekunle explained the rationale of the programme as a platform that will ultimately train, mentor and publish promising and talented campus journalists across the country and build them into a community that would spur bloggers, programmers, and other young Nigerians interacting with the world as it is today.

“The internet has created a new community with a new type of media engagement; one propelled by the emergence of social media applications wherein information can be gathered and shared with ease,” Mr. Adekunle said.

“Our universities,” he argued, “have in the past been a great breeding ground for future journalists and civic activists,” explaining that this development was due to a culture in institutions that encouraged advocacy and campus journalism powered by proper investigations.

He said the new initiative is set to build on the traditions of the past and ensure a solid continuity on:

[a] How to make this young professional so empowered to be employable and motivated for entrepreneurial endeavours in the face of unemployment;
[b] How to provide professional outreach that will separate the upcoming professionals from the crowd of young netizens.
[c] How to provide platform to identify and groom digital newsroom professionals, by sifting through citizen journalists and plucking out promising talents.

Mr. Adekunle added that the training programme would enable young campus professionals to familiarise themselves with new technology and media advancement, as well as the norms and practices of the digital transition where access and ability to share information has been made easy and possible for just about anybody and everybody.

“This training of future newsroom leaders promises great future for Nigerian journalism,” he said.

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